C. Crane Skywave and Skywave SSB out of stock – What is the best alternative?

I currently have a poor quality and ancient emergency hand crank radio and was looking to upgrade this aspect of my preps.  

After reading the Best Emergency Radio Guide, I decided to purchase a C. Crane Skywave or C. Crane Skywave SSB emergency radio.  I was disappointed to find, although I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, that the C. Crane Skywave and C. Crane Skywave SSB are both out of stock with a potential ship date that is several months out at best.  

Given what is going on in the world right now, I’m not sure I feel comfortable waiting a few months (or more, knowing the current state of the supply chain) to upgrade my emergency radio.    

The main reason I am looking to upgrade is because of the Russia / Ukraine situation and the increasing tension between Russia and the US / NATO countries.  While I think it’s still relatively unlikely, I believe the possibility of a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia is becoming enough of a possibility where I want to be prepared for the situation if it were to occur.  I believe part of that is having a really good radio on hand to be aware of potential incoming threats and to get information in the aftermath of a potential attack.  Besides that scenario, it will be helpful in many other emergency scenarios.  

I am hoping somebody could share some advice as to what emergency radio (C. Crane brand or other) would be best to have on hand in the above scenario, excluding the Skywave and Skywave SSB which is currently out of stock?  C. Crane seems to have a number of different makes / models – so many so it’s a bit overwhelming. 


  • Comments (7)

    • 3

      On C Crane’s website they have a few currently in stock:

      Then there are these two recommended ones from the best emergency radio article that will give you AM/FM/NOAA

      Here’s an old forum post asking about emergency radios too

    • 4

      I’m quite happy with this emergency alert radio. It has the “SAME” configuration so that you only get alerts for your own area. It does not have the SSB feature for listening to HF/ham radio conversations, but I think you would need to pay a lot more if you want that feature, and no need for it to be the same device that you use for emergency alerts.

    • 3

      Thank you for your suggestions!  I went ahead and purchased the CC Skywave SSB & Solar Battery Charger & 2 Nickel Metal Hydride AA.  I am thinking about keeping another smaller one in my get home bag or in my car – in which case the Orphan would probably work well!

      • 1

        Glad you found one that you like and that’s in stock. Let us know how you like it when you have some time to play around with it.

    • 2

      Solid Signal has the C.Crane Observer Windup Solar Emergency Radio AM/FM LED Flashlight for $45.99.  It was on sale for $34.99 plus free shipping a few weeks ago but I didn’t see this post  until now.  I already have one but ordered a few more at that price.  I like the fact that it has wind-up, solar, and AC/DC charger for the LiOn battery and also separate 3AA battery for power.  It doesn’t have SSB but does have weather bands.

    • 2

      I am a big fan of the Freeplay Radios.  I think they have the best wind-up design of any radio.  Unfortunately, it looks like their business is suspended.  You’ll have to find them on the secondary market like eBay.

    • 2

      One of the most important components of a shortwave radio is the antenna, I have a Tecsun PL-600 with SSB and external antenna jack.

      I listen to it all the time, and I found that by itself gets very few stations (I live in Phoenix AZ). I see online all these HAM radio guys getting tons of stations, I thought, what is wrong with my setup??

      Well I found it was my antenna, I started putting up many feet of wire, the reception got better but still not what I expected, then I heard about loop antennas and I bought the following


      This made all the difference, it reduces static tremendously, I can get far more stations with the above antenna.

      Oh, you’ll need an adapter


      Good luck

      • 1

        The radio out of the box is sort of like buying a sports car and they come with cheap tires. But putting on upgraded tires after the fact will give you much better traction, control, and performance.